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12.

Telecommunications

I. Introduction to the topic


Telecommunications, supported by the electronic media, enable people to exchange
information with each other. This form of communication can take place through several
media: mobile and fixed-line telephones, television, radio, the Internet and telefax.

A good telecommunications infrastructure is widely acknowledged as an important tool of
economic success in the modern world. At the same time there is increasing concern about
the digital gap, as access to telecommunications systems is not equally shared among the
worlds population.

The wireless telephone market

There are three mobile operators in Hungary, (T-mobile, Pannon and Vodafone) in fiercely
competing with each other for gaining new subscribers and keeping their present customers
with favourable packages. As a result, the public benefits from both the improvement in the
quality of the services and the fall in rates.

Advantages of mobile communication
o it is applicable everywhere if there is the required signal level it can save
lives as well
o not only voice, but images, music and videos can be transmitted
o each subscriber has his/her own individual phone number which may be kept
independently of the service provider

Disadvantages of mobile communication
o there isnt an adequate signal level everywhere
o the battery can go flat
o the rates can be higher than those for wired telephones
o it can sometimes be disturbing (e.g. in the theatre)

The wired telephone market

With the liberalisation of the wired market, T-com has lost its monopoly with new service
providers entering this market. However, for the newcomers the process of gaining market
share seems to be slow. They also face strong competition from the wireless market,
therefore they are making constant efforts to offer more and more favourable conditions,
such as broadband Internet access.

The information society

The information society is being created by the revolution in the information and
communications technologies accelerated by globalisation. In a knowledge-based economy,
information is of key economic and cultural importance. The Internet has become
indispensable for people and businesses, being the main source and channel of information. It
is also a tool of e-commerce, either between a firm and the consumer: business-to-consumer
trade (B2C), or between manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers: business-to-business
trade (B2B).


Employment-related issues

The IT revolution has had both positive and negative effects on employment. On the one hand
it may bring about job cuts at a company owing to increased efficiency in business
operations as a result of an IT investment. On the other hand it can lead to the creation of
new jobs along with the growth of IT-related businesses. There are excellent employment
opportunities in the form of telework, as employers can hire the best experts without having
to worry about distance.


Vocabulary exercises based on the introductory text

A. Match each item in the left-hand column with one of the phrases listed opposite
that is similar in meaning

1. exchange a. companies selling goods in large quantities
e.g. to shopkeepers
2. acknowledged b. availability, ability to reach and use

3. tool c. speeded up

4. digital gap d. people who pay regularly for a service

5. access e. give sg and receive sg in return

6. subscribers f. people who sell goods in shops

7. broadband g. inequality resulting from different levels
of Internet penetration
8. accelerated h. accepted or admitted, recognised

9. wholesalers i. system enabling the user to send messages
at very high speed
10. retailers j. means, instrument



B. For each item listed below, find in the text a word or phrase given in bold that is
similar in meaning

1. wired ..
2. worry ..
3. composite offers .
4. gains, advantage
5. fees .
6. making something free for use by others
7. control of the whole market for a product or service
8. complete change .
9. buying and selling goods using a computer
10. producers
II. Hungarian text
Exercise 1

Cover the English words and expressions given in the footnotes and try to guess the English
equivalents of the underlined parts of the Hungarian text.
Exercise 2.
After checking your guesses against the footnotes, give an oral summary of the text in
English.

.

Tudatosabb internethasznlat
Vilggazdasg 2007. janur
A vilghlt minimum t ve hasznlk tbbsge
1
mr prblta az e-kereskedelmet
2
. A
frfiak leginkbb
3
hardvereket, szoftvereket, a nk kozmetikumokat
4
vsrolnak az internet
segtsgvel. A hagyomnyos vsrls hvei informciszerzsre
5
hasznljk a netet.
Az elektronikus levelezs mellett
6
mg mindig az internetes hrportlok
7
, magazinok
olvassa az egyik legjellemzbb tevkenysg
8
a vilghln. Az NRC s a TG kzs
felmrse szerint a rendszeresen internetez felnttek
9
tbb mint hromnegyede olvas
rendszeresen internetes magazinokat. Fokozatosan zrkznak fel
10
azonban olyan
vilghln vgzett tevkenysgek, amelyek nagyobb aktivitst s tudatossgot
ignyelnek
11
. A rendszeres internetezk tbb mint 70 szzalka tlt le klnbz ingyenes
vagy fizets tartalmakat
12
- szoftvereket, jtkokat, filmeket, zenket - a hlrl, s az
online jtk is az internetezk lnyegesen nagyobb hnyadra volt jellemz
13
tavaly, mint

1
majority of Internet users
2
e-commerce
3
mostly
4
cosmetics
5
for gathering information
6
besides e-mailing
7
news portals
8
the most typical activity
9
adults regularly using the Internet
10
are gradually catching up
11
require purposefulness
12
download free or pay content
13
online games are more typical
egy vvel korbban.


A rendszeres internetezkn bell 55 szzalkra ntt
14
azok arnya, akik a vilghlt v-
srls eltti informcigyjtsre hasznljk. A gyrtk
15
, szolgltatk
16
, forgalmazk
honlapjrl
17
, interneten tallhat termktesztekbl, sszehasonlt elemzsekbl
18
vagy
netes frumokbl tjkozdnak
19
egyes termkek, szolgltatsok fell. Az NRC adatai sze-
rint
20
tavaly a gyakori internetezk kzel fele kstolt bele az e-kereskedelembe, vagyis
rendelt vagy vsrolt valamilyen termket, szolgltatst az interneten keresztl
21
.
Az zleti dntshozk arnya
22
a rendszeresen internetez felnttek krben relatve
magas
23
, 15 szzalk tbbsgk azonban frfi, jvedelmk pedig az tagosnl lnyegesen
magasabb
24
- mondta lapunknak Kurucz Imre az NRC kutatsi igazgatja
25
.
A dntshozk tbb mint hatvan szzalknak van otthoni internet-hozzfrse
26
,
tbbsgk otthonrl is hasznlja a netet. Ebben a clcsoportban
27
kiemelkeden magas az
online vsrlk arnya, a megkrdezettek fele
28
rendelt mr valamilyen termket az
interneten. A dntshozk esetben az online fizets is elterjedtebb
29
.

14
has risen to 55%
15
manufacturers
16
service providers
17
from the home page of distributors
18
comparative analyses
19
inquire about
20
according to data
21
ordered via the Internet
22
the ratio of business decision-makers
23
relatively high
24
well above average income
25
director of research
26
Internet access
27
target group
28
half of those questioned
29
more widespread




1786 n




III. English text

Better together
The Economist, 6 December 2007

The Internet, supposedly a new realm, is most useful when coupled to the real world

1. In the early days of the Internet, the idea that it represented an entirely new and separate
realm, distinct from the real world, was seized upon by both advocates and critics of the new
technology. Advocates liked the idea that the virtual world was a placeless datasphere,
liberated from the constraints and restrictions of the real world, and an opportunity for a fresh
start.
2. Where some cyber enthusiasts found the separation between the real and virtual worlds
exciting, however, critics regarded it as a cause for concern. They worried that people were
spending too much time online, communing with people they had never even met in person in
chat rooms, virtual game worlds and, more recently, on social-networking sites such as
MySpace and Facebook. A study carried out by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative
Study of Society in 2000, for example, found that heavy Internet users spent less time talking
to friends and family, and warned that the Internet could be the ultimate isolating
technology.
3. Both groups were wrong, of course. The Internet has not turned out to be a thing apart.
Unpleasant aspects of the real world, such as taxes, censorship, crime and fraud are now
features of the virtual world, too. Gamers who make real money selling swords, gold and
other items in virtual game worlds may now find that the tax man wants to know about it.
4. At the same time, however, some of the most exciting uses of the Internet rely on coupling
it with the real world. Social networking allows people to stay in touch with their friends
online, and plan social activities in the real world. The distinction between online and offline
chatter ceases to matter. Or consider Google Earth, which puts satellite images of the whole
world on your desktop and allows users to link online data with specific physical locations.
5. Rather than seeing the real and virtual realms as distinct and conflicting, in short, it makes
sense to see them as complementary and connected.
1647

Important terms

the Internet a massive networking infrastructure that connects millions of
computers together globally, forming a network in which any
computer can communicate with any other computer

advocates people who are supportive of the Internet (as opposed to critics)

cyber enthusiasts people who are highly interested in the Internet



datasphere combination of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, cell
phones, the Internet, voice mail, e-mail, and all the newly
exploding forms of communication, which can instantly transmit
information anywhere around the world in seconds

virtual game worlds worlds not physically existing but made by software to
appear to exist (computer-generated simulations)

social networking connecting and sharing information with other like-minded
people via the web

Extended vocabulary

realm: a world of its own
to seize upon (an idea): to take advantage of (sg) for ones own purposes
a cause for concern: a reason to worry about something
communing with: communicating with people online (i.e. chatting)
heavy Internet user: a person who spends a lot of time online
gamers: people who participate in online computer games
the tax man: the tax authority (informal)
coupling: connecting

Comprehension questions


1. What idea did the Internet in its early stages represent to both proponents and opponents
alike?


2. Why did supporters of the Internet like this idea of a separate world?



3. What were the critics of the Internet worried about?



4. What sort of social behaviour did the Stanford Institute study discover among heavy
Internet users, and what warning did the Institute give?


5. In what way have cyber enthusiasts been proven wrong about their ideas of the Internet as
distinct from the real world?


6. What connection is made in the article between gamers and the tax man?



7. In what way have cyber critics been proven wrong about their fears of the isolating effects
of the Internet?

8. How does Google Earth couple the virtual world with the real world?



9. What conclusion does the article draw about the relationship between the real and virtual
worlds?






IV. Discussion questions

A. Discussion questions related to the text

1. What is your opinion of social networking online what impact does it have on peoples ability to
cultivate real relationships in the real world?

2. What do you think are some of the biggest dangers for people who spend too much time online
communicating with people theyve never even met in person?

3. What do you see as the biggest benefits, to both companies and individuals, of creating online
communities?


B. Additional discussion questions

1. How have the Hungarian wired and wireless markets changed in recent years?

2. What is the connection between the IT revolution and economic development?

3. What is your opinion about the growing availability of broadband Internet? What risks and
benefits (uses and abuses) do you foresee?


V. Role-playing exercises

23. Changing corporate culture

Student:
You have just been appointed CEO of a newly merged company. Unfortunately, it is losing a
lot of money. You feel that a major transformation of the culture of the company is needed.
You are meeting with your assistant manager to brainstorm some possible policies.

Examiner:
You are the assistant manager that has been appointed to help the CEO lead a newly
merged company. You both feel that major changes are needed in the companys culture
and you meet with your CEO to brainstorm some possible policies.



24. Mergers and acquisitions

Student:
You are a mergers and acquisitions expert. The owner of a company asks for your opinion
on the benefits and drawbacks of acquiring another company. What advice will you give
him?


Examiner:
You are the owner of a company that is considering acquiring another company in order to
grow faster. Youre not sure, however, that the benefits will outweigh the costs. You consult
with an M & A expert to get his advice.